Ramping up a case against San Antonio for freeing illegal aliens, the Texas Attorney General’s Office is warning city officials not to destroy documents related to the release.
The mayor, police chief, city manager and city attorney were ordered by AG Ken Paxton to “preserve all relevant materials” connected with the release of a dozen illegal aliens over the Christmas holiday.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked the attorney general to investigate the incident, saying he was “very troubled by recent news reports of the San Antonio police chief releasing suspected illegal immigrants in a case of human trafficking or human smuggling without proper investigation of witnesses, or cooperation with federal authorities.”
“Such action,” Patrick charged, “could be in direct violation of the recently passed Senate Bill 4 and threatens the safety of citizens and law enforcement.”
SB 4 — Texas’s anti-sanctuary law – requires local officials to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration matters. Violators can be subject to criminal fines and removal from office.
Though San Antonio, the nation’s seventh largest city, is not a declared “sanctuary,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg and Police Chief William McManus have openly opposed SB 4.
Sources in the police department say McManus — who endlessly repeats the nonsensical urban myth that cities are safer when illegals are shielded from arrest or deportation — delayed notification of federal agents. When Homeland Security Investigations finally got to the scene, agents were told they weren’t needed and that local police were handling the matter.
On Wednesday, Nirenberg called the AG’s investigation “more frivolous political theater from Austin, where some would rather punish cities than fund schools.”
We don’t know what school funding has to do with this, but off-point obfuscation and passive-aggressive obstruction of a duly enacted state law are no way to run a city.
San Antonio has spent taxpayer dollars fighting SB 4 in court. Now City Hall appears determined to flout it on the streets. Attorney General Paxton is right to dig for the facts, and to hold local officials accountable to the fullest extent of the law.